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Performance diary

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22 - 23 June
Hall for Cornwall
01872 262 466

26 - 27 June
The Lighthouse, Poole
08700 668 701

29 - 30 June
The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
01242 572 573

North East tour 2007


Choose from the following:

Introductory notes
BRB's Ballet Mistress, Marion Tait, outlines some of the different interpretations of the story
Read reviews
See what the critics said about previous Birmingham Royal Ballet performances of Solitaire

Take Five

Choose from the following:

Introductory notes
Click here for an interview with David Bintley, where he talks about his new jazz work
David Bintley
Find out more about the Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet
Rehearsal photos
Click to see images from the first studio rehearsal with the live band

Pineapple Poll

Choose from the following:

Introductory notes
A plot outline for Pineapple Poll
The creation of Pineapple Poll
John Percival looks at the history of the ballet, and those that helped to produce it
Read reviews of previous Birmingham Royal Ballet performances of this work
Children's activities
Printable colouring in and puzzle sheets for younger audience members

Introductory notes

Take Five

David Bintley, Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, last programmed a mixed bill of his own jazz ballets back at the beginning of the 2004-05 season. Entitled 'Such Sweet Thunder' it consisted of The Shakespeare Suite, The Nutcracker Sweeties and The Orpheus Suite, the latter making its debut for those performances. But watching all three pieces together on the same bill, David had misgivings. 'When I saw it, I realised it was too high powered', he remembers. 'So I thought I've got to streamline it, to give more of a contrast.'

Take Five, a new work to Dave Brubeck's well-known score, is his solution. But while the piece won't be taking it's place in a mixed jazz programme until early spring 2008, audiences in the South West are being given an exclusive preview of the piece this summer.

Performing the piece so far ahead meant that David had to begin its creation before the Company had even completed its February tour of his recent new production of Cyrano. When asked about moving straight from one new work to another, he smiles; 'I like doing that, because when you do a big piece that's taken you so long, you get almost a form of post-natal blues: you feel a bit bereft for a while, even when it's still being performed. So it's good to do something different. This uses a completely different language, I've only got ten dancers, there's no props - there's nothing but the music'.

The music itself - with its famous lead saxophone line - has been crucial to the composition of the piece, and David talks about it enthusiastically. 'The Brubeck is very clean' he says. 'It's very classical, because Brubeck studied under Milhaud, who was a classical composer. It's very elegant, it's very cool, and the excitement in it is much more delicate - very different from other recent jazz works I've done.'

So where does David's passion for jazz stem from?

'My Dad was always in a band when I was growing up', he explains. 'He played in a jazz band in the army, then he came out and he started his own, and they just used to rehearse in our front room. So that's when I heard this music, and on top of that my dad had loads of jazz records that he used to play. And Brubeck was one, and Ellington was another.'

Moving from the past to the future, however, he seems satisfied he has achieved what he set out to. 'Now I've done this programme of works together, I probably won't do any more jazz', he ponders, before adding 'at least not for a long time.' It would seem that with these performances audiences are possibly being given their last chance to see a new jazz work from David...
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